Bitcoin for Everyone

Lesson 8 – Getting Your Money Out of Bitcoin

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Welcome back to Bitcoin for Everyone, an original Coin Academy course. This is the final lesson in our series of 8 lessons providing an introduction to the world’s most popular alternative currency, Bitcoin.

This lesson covers a topic everyone wants to know about. That is, “How do I get my money out of Bitcoin once I’ve bought Bitcoin?” Well, there are multiple answers to this question so we’re going to hit all of the most common methods for recovering your funds.

First, obviously, spend it. You’ve got Bitcoin, you can spend Bitcoin. There’s thousands of vendors all over the world that currently accept Bitcoin including some of the biggest brands in the world. If you don’t know where to go, try visiting CoinMap.org or SpendBitcoins.com. Both of them provide localized maps with businesses organized by categories showing you where you can spend your Bitcoins.

For example, this is a map showing restaurants in Austin, Texas that accept Bitcoin. All you have to do is punch in your location, punch in the category of business you’re looking for and the website will spit out a map for you and help you accept vendors who will accept Bitcoin in your area. Transferring it to a vendor is very, very simple. Normally, they have a QR code visible and you can use your mobile wallet, Mycelium is what we’ve talked about before, and use Mycelium to transfer money directly to their public address.

Another option is to sell it to an individual. This is very attractive in the sense that there’s no transaction fees involved. You can use your Mycelium mobile wallet or your Hive wallet on your computer to do this. Just simply access your account with your Private Key, send the amount to their Public Address. It’s very simple. It’s very fast.

Another option is to exchange it for another digital currency. If you want to move from Bitcoin to Litecoin. Or Bitcoin to Ripple. Or Bitcoin to any of the other hundreds of digital currencies that there are in the marketplace you can do so. Typically, this requires the use of an Exchange that offers exchanging one digital currency for another digital currency at the prevailing exchange rates. Note that rates do vary between Exchanges influenced heavily by buy and sell demand. Fees for this, if there are any, will range from 0.1% to 0.35%. Sometimes there aren’t any fees. Sometimes they’re actually really miniscule.

Another option is to exchange it for bullion. I know that may sound odd to some of you but there are several precious metal traders that now offer bullion priced in Bitcoin. This makes good sense for them because number one, it’s a faster transaction for them than say, a wire transfer or a credit card purchase. There’s no possibility of cash chargebacks and the transaction fees are very, very low. Increasingly, we see precious metal traders offering bullion priced in Bitcoin.

Of course, many people, once they’ve purchased Bitcoin, they want to exchange it back to fiat currency. This typically requires the use of an Exchange. Your fees again range from 0.1% to 0.35%, and some Exchanges will interface directly with your bank account which allows for direct deposit of funds received. Others, however, do not. In those cases, you’re probably stuck with wire transfer proceeds. Now, watch out here. The wire transfers can be absolutely ridiculously high, and moreover, some banks will not accept wire transfers from digital currency exchanges. That’s an attitude of bankers that hopefully is changing and will improve over time. But currently, some big banks including HSBC will not accept transfers from known digital currency exchanges.

Another option of course is you can sell your Bitcoin via a Bitcoin ATM, and withdraw from that ATM the local fiat currency. This is a great technique for people who are travelling.

And then the final thought we want to plant in your heads here is that, you can give Bitcoin as gift or as a donation. There’s an increasing number of charities that now welcome donations in Bitcoin. A number of these charities are technology-friendly organizations. For example, the Electronic Freedom Foundation or many of the open source foundations will accept Bitcoin. Not surprising that their early adaptors of this donation method technology. But also, there are a number of organizations that have had problems with traditional donation methods, like Wikileaks, which is cut off by the US government, by PayPal, by the credit card companies, FreeSnowden, a fund for Edward Snowden, the Pirate Bay, depending on which way you want to go here, there are many, many options, and like I say, an increasing number of charities are going this way. They really like Bitcoins because you don’t lose so much for the transaction fees which is always has been a real problem with the donation structures that existed.

Another advantage is that donations can be truly anonymous. If that’s something that’s important to you, then Bitcoin provides for making anonymous donations.

Thank you very much. This was the last of our 8-lesson course which is an introduction in Bitcoin called Bitcoin for Everyone.

Please check back with us and join us for some of our other Coin Academy courses, and hopefully you’re going to have good experiences in Bitcoin World and we’re here to help you.